on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2015 25 Jun

Codex by Ghost Harmonic: revisited

von: Ian McCartney Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off


It was probably a bit presumptuous to attempt a review of Codex prior to receiving a copy of it, but I think it was a worthwhile exercise. My idea of what it might be like based on verbal descriptions wasn’t all that far off, really. D’you remember The Overload by Talking Heads and how it was reportedly an exercise in the emulation of the sound of Joy Division (who they’d never heard)? Well it was a bit like that for me, in a way. Talking Heads got uncannily close in some respects, but the original JD and the Heads‘ inventive pseudosimulacrum have different axial tilts – so they throw out different thought-particles into the cosmos. I say „pseudosimulacrum“ because, well, it could hardly be a straight simulacrum if the Heads hadn’t heard the source material.

So Codex isn’t unlike what I’d imagined, but there’s more there than I’d expected. First plays were through in-ear JVC phones. Maybe it’s cos of bone conduction with in-ear phones (i.e. sound travelling through your actual skull) but it lacked nuance, and was oddly 2-D. Later plays through a mono Bose loudspeaker did the trick though – there are all kinds of subtle layers and dynamic shifts going on that I’d missed before. You do really have to pay attention to this one though – to the untrained ear this could sound lobotomised like lift music or a Hamlet cigar commercial at 16RPM. To a more tuned-in ear, though, Codex is the kind of journey into sound that you don’t get to buy a ticket for that often.

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